TOP of Virginia honors community leaders, businesses

The TOP of Virginia Regional Chamber, which serves Clarke, Frederick counties and Winchester, honored top performing businesses and entrepreneurs at its Greater Good Award dinner.

Since 1949, the chamber has honored members of the business community who went above and beyond in contributing time and resources to the chamber, local nonprofits and the community at large.

Jody Wall, program development director for the chamber, said the criteria for the winners are based on performance and service.

“The criteria for all the awards is exhibiting financial success, community outreach and business growth,” Wall said. “All these businesses have demonstrated leadership and good business models.”

Wall added, “Usually our citizen of the year award goes to someone well known in the community by virtue of the fact they have been very active in the community over a period of time.”

Here are the honorees of this year’s awards dinner:

Large Business of the Year: Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury, a retirement senior living independent facility, received the award this year for its growth and service in the community over the past 27 years. Wall said the facility has received numerous recognition from the retirement home industry.

Small Business of the Year: Jonathan S. Solenberger and Company, a hardware store, received the award this year for its growth and continuous operation for more than 127 years, with five generations of the Solenberger family owning and operating the store, Wall said.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Kimberly Sowers, owner of Kimberly’s in Old Town, a clothier and gift shop, received the award this year for her 25 years in business, which she started at age 19, Wall said.

Citizen of the Year: James Wilkins II, vice president of Silver Lake Properties, received the award for his service to the community, including his role in gaining properties for the Winchester Medical Center’s Amherst Street campus, his involvement with the chamber and his leadership in the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or

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